tv Charlie Rose WHUT April 7, 2012 3:00am-4:00am EDT
>> rose: welcome to the program. we begin this evening with the leading pakistani journalist ahmed rashid. >> these strategic reviews that were carried out by the white house were all about troop deployment. how many, you know, when they should go, when they should come back, et cetera, et cetera. where was the actual debate and discussion about a political strategy? an economic strategy. how do we, you know, benefit afghanistan. these issues were just thought there. >> rose: we continue this evening with peter beinart's new book called "the crisis of zyonism" >> israel has to take a serious risk with the creation of the palestinian state. i make that very clear in the book. i'm not saying that there are not risks to the creation of the palestinian state for israel there are risks. risks that rockets could be fired from the west bank
into israel. risks of terrorism from the west bank. but foreign policy is always about the balance of risk. >> rose: we conclude this evening with tim weiner, his new book about the history of the fbi. >> what i really learned about hoover is that he was not a monster. he was an american machiavelli. and he is the man who created the national security system we have today, really. and the surveillance state we have today. every camera on every street corner, every fingerprint, every bit of biometric data that is on file is a monument to him. >> rose: ahmed rashid, peter beinart and tim weiner when we continue. funding for charlie rose was provided by the following.
ahmed rashid is here, a best selling author and journalist. for three decades he'ses reported on afghanistan, pakistan and the rise of the taliban, the late christopher hitchens called him pakistan's best and bravest reporter. his latest book is called pakistan on the bring, the future of america, pakistan and afghanistanment i'm pleased to have him back at this table. welcome, my friend. >> thank you very much. >> rose: good to see you. tell me where we are, give me a snapshot of where we are in this moment in terms of afghanistan. >> i think in afghanistan everything right now is up for grabs. all the assumptions that were being made three to six months ago are proving wrong. and i think new assumptions will have to be made. for example, the idea that the americans can stay, keep 20,000 troops after 2014, that there will be some kind of strategic compact agreement which is actually being negotiated now between karzai and the americans. the fact is, that american soldiers are being killed by afghan soldiers. >> rose: right. >> this can get worse. i mean how will american soldiers stay on.
then you know, the talks issue with the taliban. the chances are that these could either end in a terrible way or that they could actually take off. and provide the kind of security that both the american was need for withdrawal and karzai would need for the future. then we have the problem of the afghan elections which are coming up in 2014. >> yeah. >> what happens there. how you can have elections as the americans are leaving. will you stay on for the-- to cover the elections, to protect the elections or will the americans leave before the elections? so and then what really worries me even more deeply is the economy. there is no self-sustaining economy in the country. and you know, the economy right now is dependent on servicing 150,000 foreign troops. once these foreign troops leave, the tens of thinks of afghans who have been working for these foreign
troops are going to be rendered jobless, basically. and you know n 10, 11 years in afghanistan, the west has not really built a self-sustaining economy. >> rose: why do you think it went wrong? >> well,-- . >> rose: because we were distracted by iraq. was it because we had the wrong strategy. was it because afghanistan is always the way afghanistan is? >> no i think two strategic mistakes. the first one was made in 1989 after the soviet withdrawal. >> rose: right. a very minimum amount of american money and aid could have stopped a civil war and could have restored a modicum of society and equality. because you know, there were 5 million afghan refugees outside the country. they were all flowing backment but there was nothing there to receive them. there was no money. there was no construction, nothing at all so that was the first mistake. the u.s. walking away. the u.s. saying well, the cold war has ended. and i think the second strategic mistake was definitely iraq. because you know, in 2002, 3,
4, even, you could, a minimum, i mean we calculated that time, some experts, myself included, that the americans needed to put in $5 billion a area for developing the country. for ten years. now that is chicken feed compared to the monies that's going in now, you know. and at that point there was no insurgency. the taliban had left. there was-- you know, people were waiting for you to deliver the construction and goods and all that. and a minimum amount again of investment would have turned the whole cycle around. the taliban would never have been able to launch their offensive that they did in 2003 and 4 and 5. if a minimum -- >> when the united states was engaged in iraq. >> exactly. >> clarely the iraq invasion had a real impact on what could and should have been >> absolutely. because it sucked away everything, money, resources,
troops, intelligence, everything. >> rose: so when president obama after the end of the bush administration he becomes president of the united states and he immediately orders afghan pakistan review. an then he comes back and does another review. but a decision was made to engage in a surge. would the president have been better off if he just simply had said this is the wrong war at the wrong time. and we choose to go no further? >> well, i don't think he could have said that, at that particular point. >> rose: because. >> because of the military, the u.s. military. the military was adamant that they could beat this, they could get some kind of victory out of this. they could be a success. they could turn back stand around. and that they could hammer the taliban. they just had too few troops. and obama right at the beginning was trapped between a military that wanted more troops. and the fear as every democratic president has of
the opposite significance, the republicans, et cetera, saying that the democrats are wimps and that they sold out the national interest and all the rest of it. and unfortunately, at that particular moment when all these reviews were being carried on, what was to the being reviewed was a political strategy. >> rose: right. >> toned the war,. >> rose: where was holbrook. >> hold brook was appointed to be the envoy and he had this huge team with them. he didn't have access to the president. that was thing who-- . >> rose: but he had access to the secretary of state who had access to the president. >> that's true. but there was, for the first two years of this administration there was this tussle between the white house and the state department. and the state department was not getting its way all the time. certainly, you know, holbrooke did not strike-- the president at all and karzai of course was very suspicious of, you know, very suspicious of obama. obama he had met earlier during the presidential
campaign. and he was very suspicious of anyone that obama appoint odd. so that was, you know, that started off on the wrong foot right from the beginning. in pakistan holbrooke came in with a determination to channel more money to the civilian side, less money for the military. he was very popular in pakistan. so was hillary clinton for a long time. >> rose: holbrooke always believed that the problem with our engagement over there was that the military was rung the policy. >> these strategic reviews that were carried out by the white house were all about troop deployment. >> rose: right. >> how many, you know, when they should go. when they should come back, et cetera, et cetera. where was the actual debate and discussion about a political strategy. an economic strategy. how do we, you know, benefit afghanistan. these issues were just not there. >> agreed but what i don't understand is that this president could not have been more inquestions fiv and could not have been more anxious to hear a variety of opinions.
everybody who was there in that room told me that. >> well, you know, i mean certainly he was very inquisitive and he wanted answers to a lot of these problems. but i think the military were able to dominate the talks about, by the issue of how many troops. >> rose: and present these are the only options, either option a or option b, that option c would never come up. >> option c was talk together taliban. if the talks that were going on now had started at that time. and by the way, it was the taliban who was signaling even two years ago to the americans that we want to talk to you, you knowment and they did it guey the germans and cat aries. it was not the americans who first initiated this. >> rose: it was the taliban. >> it was the taliban themselves. >> rose: going through the germans saying we want to talk. >> yeah there were taliban in germany who approached the german foreign ministry and said we want to talk to the americans. can you arrange. >> rose: did this come from mullah omar. >> the ger pans-- well, the ger pans didn't know but once they started meeting with the taliban, they
immediately found out that this was coming from mullah omar. >> rose: really? >> yeah. >> rose: what was his incentive. >> well, again, i mean they have not made it chreeferment you about i think there were several incentives. they did not want the americans to leave with the country in a state of is civil war. they did 23409 want another -- >> the taliban. >> the taliban because they know that in the end when push comes to shove they are no more popular than the government. >> exactly. and not only that, that they know this time around they would never be able to unite the country behind them. >> osama bin laden and pakistan we're learning more and more, his wifes are talking and everybody else is talking. what do you believe happened? >> what do you know happened? >> i have no idea. but it is difficult to believe that, you know, all this, you know, he was in five different houses and three different wives, four children. >> rose: right. >> i mean two of the kids delivered in government hospitals it is impossible-- . >> rose: under assumed names. >> with you it's impossible to believe that there was not some con ivance of someone at the top.
>> the real tragedy i think-- . >> rose: the americans that i talk to don't believe that he knew. >> no, i'm not saying that, you know, the army chief knew or that even the head of the isi knew or the prime minister knew but somewhere,. >> rose: somebody knew. >> somebody knew. i mean lower down in the mid ranks. >> rose: i think everybody believes that. the other thing is, i think the real tragedy for pakistan has been it has failed. the military has failed to carry out any accountability of the first of the disaster of having a bin lad earn there, and then in the post american attack when they killed him. there should have been a really big rigorous accountability. that if it was con ivance, and if it wasn't con ivance t was incompetence. >> rose: one or the other. >> so somebody should have been sacked for incompetence, at least. nobody was sacked. nobody. and nobody has still been sackeds. >> rose: they replaced the head of the isi. >> that was done as routine. because he had had two extensions and his time was up and he left.
i mean if he was to be sacked, he should have been sacked six months ago, not just now. >> rose: how stable is the government there. >> well, you know there has been this enormous tussle between the military and the courts and the civilian government. you know, i think there has been an effort to remove zardari. he has countered that very effectively. he's still surviving. he's played his politics very well. but now there is enormous pressure on him. elections are due next year. there's pressure on him to bring forward those elections, to perhaps the end of this year. and perhaps that will ease some of this present tension that's ongoing between the army, the civilians and the courts. >> rose: suppose the president of the united states is re-elected. you know, and he calls you up and says come down to the white house. i need to talk to youment tell me what we should do now. >> at the moment there is hardly a relationship. i mean the two americans and pakistanies are not talking to each other. >> rose: that has gotten a little better. >> it got a little better last week but there is no result yet.
the americans want the road to open for their goods and all the rest of it. so we don't know how long this state of tension is going to continue. i mean i hope it doesn't continue for longer than a month or so. because but you know, hopefully that by the time president obama is re-elected there will be. >> rose: or governor romney or whofer is next. >> whoever. but there will be an improvement in the relationship. i think, you know, the theme of this book is really, and you know, what i believe is that the-- the military has, the military in pakistan and you know the civilian leadership have really failed to bring about any kind of reform or change internally. in foreign policy, economic policy, social policy. we are almost exactly where we were 20, 30 years. >> rose: would it benefit bhutto if she had been the head -- >> she would have done things much more differently. the key is issue is that the military controls foreign policy, and national security policy. and unless the military changes that policy, in other words, we stop
supporting extremists and fundamentalists to fight wars in kashmir and fight wars in afghanistan, we actually develop a more friendly attitude towards our neighbors. at the moment we are at odds with all our neighbors, you know this is no way to live in the 21st century. and secondly what is needed from the civilian side is a social and economic reform. i think what the u.s. need to its do is to engage with pakistan, seriously. you know, make these demands very transparently. perhaps with the rest of the international community. and then engage with pakistan wrkts military and with the civilians. perhaps a new government will be in power in pakistan it may look at things differently. and you know, engage at the strategic level of seeing how the west can help pakistan, you know, bring about change and reform. >> rose: is there sufficient body of political will to do that in pakistan? >> i think now there is an
enormous body of will that's building. >> for reform. >> for reform and change. and people who are fed up with the monday op lease-- monopoly of the military. fed up with the money that goes to the military, fed up with these bad relations with india, you know, people want to trade and do business with india, they are seeing india has got 8, 9% growth rate whale we have a 2% growth rate so obviously people are very effected by that. so i think, but you know, i think there's a huge kind of shift in public opinion. i mean one reason why the army in this situation has not taken over is simply because they know that the public this time, half the public would be against any takeover. and it would make the army hugely unpopular. >> rose: and that's because what? >> because i think the mood has shifted very much. >> rose: towards democracy and reform. >> reform and change because, because-- . >> rose: the politics have changed. >> because the situation is so bad. people are really suffering, at every level, economic, jobs. at every level there is no
electricity. there's no gas. >> rose: is key annie a friend of the united states. >> he has been a friend of the united states. i think he was very trusted by the former american-- mike mullen. >> yeah, mike mullen. and but i think there is an enormous pressure building up within the military which is very anti-american. and-- . >> stephen: is that because of osama bin laden or is it because -- >> it's a long history of mistakes. it's a two years of the last two years of mistakes that have been made by the americans and by the pakistanies, you know. and the tragedy for us is that we tend to look at what the others mistakes are but we never tend to look at our own mistakes. and this is the other theme. but we have to look inward. and we
forward in that direction. >> rose: so is it a political timidity or something deeply engrained in him from his family and his father. >> i think his ideaological instincts are to be skeptical. i mean this is a man who was against the palestinian state his whole career. was it against it when he ran for prime minister. didn't say he was publicly for it even when he formed his coalition, even when he went to washington to first meet with obama. actually released a new version of his book in 2009 that explain idea a palestinian state was a bad idea, even there 2009, and has a coalition, many of the people of which are essentially hostile. so the question is i think
it would take for him a lot to move against those ideaological instincts, especially when the politics he doesn't see as necessarily favoring it. >> rose: what about ariel sharon, do you think he would be prepared to make a deal today. because he was hener mously concerned about the demmography argument. >> it's harder to know with sharon than with olmert and barak, because although he dismantled the sellment-- sell elments if gaza which was significant, he never laid out what a final status agreement would be on the west bank so i think is more ambiguous with sharon but olmert. >> rose: who succeed sharon. >> unfortunately was very week at the end. but he probably went further than barak, the furthest that an israel leader, we are racing against the clock here well. have, unfortunately, a settlement process that is making it harder and harder to have a viable palestinian state. and yet we've had leaders who see that time is running out. the question is do we have such a dren israeli leader today. >> rose: why do they continue the settlement
policy if they know it's going to get in the way of a final-- of a peaceful settlement between israeli and palestine. >> i think is for the same reason our government does irrational things. which is politicals from take hold of a government. many of the ministries that control the settlements are essentially in the hands who were settle evers themselves or sympathetic. you have government colations that-- it takes an enormous ago of will, just like it would here 20 deal with entitlements or maybe with the defense budget to actually confront that and i think this israeli government has not really been willing to fight, it would be a very, very you have battle. >> rose: what does it do for israel, the soul of israel if, in fact t is occupying what is known as the west bank. and there is a one state and not a two state solution. what does it do to the israel that is is so many people believe is essential. >> for me the miracle of the creationist state of is vale that three years after the
holocaust, in a war for israel's very survival, israel still pledged itself in its declaration of independence to complete equality of social and political rights, irrespective of race, religion and sex to. me that is the miracle, not just to create the state but they created a state based on the principleses that europe had betrayed towards the jews. and inside the green line, although israel is flawed, it does offer citizenship to all its people. >> rose: just for the benefit of the odd yen, where is the green line. >> the green line is the line, israel's original line whence it was found in 1949 as opposed to the west bank that it took in 1967. in the west bank, palestinians are barred from citizenship because they are not jews. and thus you have in the west bank a kind of an adjacent nondemocratic israel, next to the original democratic israel. >> rose: you suggest in the book that the outside world ought to treat the nondemocratic israel and the democratic israel as two
separate entities in terms of the way it has negotiations and commercial relationships. >> yes. i mean the two are intertwined but i think we need to reinforce that distinction. because my greatest fear is that settlement growth on the one hand and israel's critics on the other are coalescing around a one state solution. israeli is creating a one state solution with settlement growth and it's harsh critics are saying aha!, we'll take that whole one strait and turn it into something other than a jewish state. and we need to reinforce that distinction between israel as a jewish democratic state and the west bank which menaces israel's existence as a jewish democratic state. >> rose: where are people like lieberman,ed foreign principle ster on this. >> lieberman says he is for a two state solution. he lives quite deep in a settlement in the west bank himself. i think lieberman's signature contribution to israeli politics has been a whole series of legislation aimed at demonizing and disenfranchising israel, arab citizens inside israel's original borders. which is very frightening because the relationship
between the state of israel and those people who are citizens is so critical to the health and security of the country. >> rose: you called book the crisis of zionism, define the crisis. >> the cries sis that i believe zionism can only succeed as a democratic movement as it was enadviceaged by its founders. the idea of a reconciling, a liberal democratic state and a state that safeguards the jewish people. if it fails as a democracy, if zionism is not a democratic project, if israel permanently controls million of non-citizen palestinians who don't have the right to vote, i think zionism itself will ultimately die and be a trag gee for the jewish people of immense proportion. >> some people even suggest it is apate. >> olmert and barak have warned if israeli cannot dislook itself from the west bank it faces an apartheid few. a one state solution which is part nondemocratic and a struggle to overthrow the whole thing. and that supply great fear. >> rose: and put into context now the sort of
evolution of the obama administration with respect to israel. >> i think they wanted to jump-start the diplomatic process. which has really been languishing for most of the bush administration. i think obama own instincts were very sim math etic to the original zionist idea of the jewish democratic stated. and i think-- there had been negotiations under olmert and a bass before netanyahu came in. i think they would have liked to continue those negotiations. i talk food a lot of people outside the obama administration and elsewhere about this. netanyahu was not willing to continue those negotiations. abbas feared that netanyahu who hadn't even said he was for a palestinian state at all until june of 2009, wasn't serious in the negotiations he wanted to pursue. and so the obama administration came up with this idea of a settlement frieze that i think coupled with some moves towards diplomatic recognition by the arab --. >> if they could get israeli to engage they might pro moment action.
>> yes, i think the problem with that strategy was given the right leaning nature of this israeli government and the fact that they expected at least publicly also a settlement freeze in jerusalem which is particularly hard for an israeli government to do, they weren't realistic about their chances of success unless they were willing to put a lot more pressure than they were. it would have taken a lot of pressure on netanyahu. big public fight w political costs for obama to get that, to happen. and they weren't willing to pay that price which i think raises questions about whether it was a good idea to go down that path to begin with. because they ultimately got a settlement freeze that was meaningless, because there was as much settlement growth in a year of the supposed freeze as there had been in 20089. >> rose: both in foreign policy and domestic policy, the president seems to be always careful of what the political considerations are. >> yeah. i think that's right. and it's understandable. he had many issues on his plate. i don't fault the president, frankly, as much as a fault those news the american jewish community who i think
made it harder for him to do the right thing. because i think what wanted to do was the right thing for israeli. but he found the politics were very, very tough. in part because of the organized american jewish community that we have created. >> rose: and what would have taken for the jewish community to be able to offer some support to the president so he would have been bolder? >> i think the problem is that the american jewish organization tends to define pro-israel as supportive of the policies of the israeli government. that's not how i define pro-israel. i define pro-israel of helping israel live out the principleses of its declaration of independence. just like that is how i define pro-american. i think that is the fundamental shift that i'm trying to argue for in this book. that we need to have the same conception of israel that its founders did and be willing to say publicly when israel's government is, in fact, violating those founding principleses just as we would with our own government. >> but you don't believe that the government of benjamin netanyahu has those kinds of commitments to the
founding vision. >> if they do, i haven't seen it public-- publicly expressed. i think this is a government whose security fears and there are legitimate security fears if, whose security fears i fear are blinding it to the reality that making the occupation permanent is the worse thing for israeli security. >> rose: they legitimate security fears. how can the world and israel's friends and israel's friends in at rab world as well convince everybody that israel's security is such an essential element of this, that somehow there must be a formula to go as far as you can to guarantee that security. >> i think people have to say as publicly and emphatically as possible that they accept the existence and legitimacy of a democratic jewish state in the land of israel. >> rose: hasn't the arab league been prepared to do that. >> at rab league in 2002 and 2007 said we accept israel's right to exist within 67y
borders and there was language on the refugees which israel didn't like but i think was fudged a little bit. >> rose: is the language over jewish stated a big deal it is clearly a big deal for the prime minister. >> i think the problem with demanding that the palestinian recognize israel as a jewish state right at the beginning is that it is kind of code nor return for refugees. i think at the end of the day the palestinians will have to accept no large scale return. but that's their best bargaining chip. they give away the large scale right of return to get everything else they want. if you tell them they have to give it away as the price of go together bargaining table, then they are left with very little. and i think that's the mistake that netanyahu has made. >> rose: the last time the prime minister of israel was here, he was fervently in opposition to palestinian statehood and fervently arguing for direct negotiations. >> yes. >> rose: where does that stand? because israel says to the palestinians we want to negotiate, come talk. the palestinians say we will talk if in fact certain things stop happening. >> yes. i think the palestinians should negotiate. if only to show that this is
israeli government is not within the boundaries that barak and olmert were involved in. i think even as just a public relations strategy they should negotiate. but i think the key moment is when obama said let's do negotiations according to 67y plus swaps and netanyahu said no. when he said no, then people legit ma-- legitimately said well, what is the framework for those negotiations since that is the only meaningful framework we've ever had. >> rose: right. and how deep a concern is it that as years go by, the nature of israeli defense forces is changing. who those soldiers are is changing. >> that is a worry. traditionally the backbone where people from cab uss, secular people like barak himself, mohr and more you are finding the high-tech tel aviv crowd doesn't volunteer for those really tough units in the israel defense forces t is the settlers and the national religeouses calling it are becoming the backbone. the fear is will these people actually participate in the dismantling of settlement. and there is some reason to be concerned about that.
>> rose: what should we look for next? what might begin to change? >> my fear is that there will be some kind of third intefatah pain based on what happened in egypt and elsewhere. it will wipe away abbas and the palestinian authority. >> rose: some kind av rab spring. >> some kind of arab spring not only against the occupation but the leadership in the west bank which is considered to be o presence-- oppressive. maybe against the leadership of hamas too, that would be nice. the danger is once the palestinian authority is gone, then in some ways are you in a one state reality because the palestinian authority is the government in waiting it is what creates the idea of a two state solution. and my fear is that the people who come to power in that wave could be explicitly one staters. and that's my great fear that we could be like the coyote, the road runner who has gone off the cliff already and we just haven't seen it yet. and political event kos all of a sudden lead us quickly into the realization that the two state solution is gone. that is my deepest fear. >> rose: that is what you believe is the crisis.
>> that is for me the crisis, because it would mean we lost what our parents and grandparents gave us which is a democratic jewish state. and our sacred obligation is to keep it for our children. >> rose: the book is called the crisis of zionism, the author is peter beinart, thank you. >> thank you. >> rose: sam weiner is leer, a journalist who won a pulitzer prize for his coverage of the pentagon. his new book is called, enemies, a history of the fbi. it is based on recently declassified documents that reveal a history of illegal arrest, detentions and wire stapping-- taping. mi pleased to have him back at this table, welcome. >> thank you, charl-year. >> rose: what is it about you and institutions. >> well, it's not institution, it's secrets. it's my job to go get the documentation that shows what we never knew, or what we thought we knew. but didn't take the time to actually know. the story of j ed guard hoover. the story of how the fbi and presidents confront one another. the story of how we
struggled to be both safe and free which is, our constitution commands us to be. though these are opposing forces, liberty and security. i go get the documents. and then i write a story that tells the history of not just the institution but secret institutions. >> rose: did you have the gifted and what is people to talk to you? >> no, i have not special gift for that. what i have, if i have a gift it's for telling a story in simple decollar difficult sentences that goes on for 60, 70, 80, 100 years. >> rose: what is interesting about the fbi. >> other than hoover. >> hoover is his own monument. the institution that we turn to when we want to have our securityenced is the fbi. the institution that is supposed to guarantee our
freedoms under the constitution is the fbi. here is the institution in which is-- the constitutional command to be safe and free, we are engaged in a struggle between these opposing forces. they're the guys that have to get it right. if they get it wrong, people die. or we lose our freedoms. >> rose: explain to the audience the disphinx-- distest between the fbi and cia in terms of their responsibilities. >> the fbi was found 1d 03 years ago. teddy roosevelt set it up. and its job initially was to root out anarchists and other people whose thoughts and words were incendiary, dangers to the republic. and also to try and enforce federal law. back then the power of washington did not extend very far. there was no income tax there were no federal laws against-- there were few federal crimes as we new know there were thousands of them. but first and foremost during world war i when j.
edgar hoover joined the ranks of justice, it was to root out saboteurs, spies, he is decisionists, anarchists, communists. people who twoonted blot country up. >> rose: people who came to our shores to do us harm. >> and americans too who were throwing bombs, who tried to blow up the attorney general, almost succeeded. tried to blow up the supreme court justice, olive wendel helms. and hoover hoover saw himself and the institution that he created almost single-handedly, the fbi, as the only force that stood between us and anarchy. >> rose: and he actually saw himself that way too. >> he did, indeed. and he ran the fbi for 48 years. >> rose: when you assessed j. edgar love what is on the good side and what is on the bad side? >> i got thousands of files that nobody had ever seen which are j. edgar hoover's intelligence files. and his handwriting saul over them. an order would come, we skribl the order of the day
down in a blue ink fountain pen. and reading these documents is like looking over his shoulder and listening to them outloud. his mind was narrow but it was very deep. sis sense of humor was far sass particular, sometimes pet lent. he was a good require which will cover a multitude of sins. and he trau' believed that the fbi could root out the damagers to this country. what i really learned about hoover is that he was in the a monster. he was an american machiavelli. and he is the man who created the national security system we have today, really. and the surveillance state we have today. every camera on every street corner, every fingerprint, every bit of by wro metric data on file is a monument to him. >> because he thought he stood between national security and the threats that are-- existed. >> that he and his
institution would round up anarchists, socialists, civil rights leaders. >> rose: yeah, indeed. >> anti-war protestors. >> rose: what caused him it go too far. what caused him to believe in his own obsession, so that can could do whatever he wanted to do. he was j. edgar hoover and he was the fbi. >> presidents. >> presidents gave him the power. >> beginning with franklin, roosevelt. in 1936 president franklin d roosevelt called hoover into the white house and he said i want to you find out everything there is to find out about communists and fascists in this country. the president saw war coming. and he gave them the authority, roosevelt gave hoover the authority to bug, wiretap, black bag job, burglaries to get the secrets that could undermine this country. >> rose: is that where it began. >> that's where it began in full. and when the supreme court three years later in 1939 said you can't put bugs in wiretaps in without a warrant, roosevelt called hoover and said so many
words to hell with the supreme court. do what you want to do, what you have to do to protect this country. >> rose: when he was a genius in public relations. >> he was a genius at telling president secrets. secrets that presidents thought from vittal. >> rose: a genius at understanding people. >> there are tarntion hundreds and hundreds of hours of tapes of hoover talking to lyndon johnson, of hoover talking to richard nixon. they're stroking one another, they're flattering one another. but when the president gave an order, when lbj said to hoover, i want to you dig up intelligence on the clan just like you got on the communists. well, hoover didn't want to do that. he thought the problem of the south was as he called them the integrationists, not the segregationists. the president said to do t he did it. he broke the plan like a dry twig. >> rose: got inside, planted people. >> sab taujd, subversion, undercover work w whatever it took.
bugging, breaking and entering, dirty tricks. crushed them. >> rose: what was the threat that he made to bobby kennedy and jack kennedy? >> well, he didn't threaten them. he didn't blackmail them. he convinced both of them that martin luther king was a communist tool. and that's why bobby kennedy said-- . >> rose: they believed it. >> yes, they did. that is why bobby kennedy signed the order authorize him to bug martin luther king. >> rose: did they fear he had material on them and relationships that if, in fact, he made it public they would be destroyed. >> they knew perfectly well that j. edgar hoover had a tape and transcript of young john kennedy in the navy in 1942 having sexual intercourse with a suspected nazi spy. >> rose: a woman older than he was at the time. >> inga arvad. she had been hitler's publicist at the berlin olympics. they knew he had that because hoover told his good friend joe kennedy, jack and
bobby's father. >> rose: they were friends. >> they were friends. they were allies. >> rose: what did you think of the movie about hoover. >> not some of, huh? wince think that it's founded on a false premise which is that its cold war was essentially the result of j. edgar's hoover repressed sexuality. i don't give a figure nor that theory. >> rose: that there was no repressed sexuality or it had nothing to do with the cold war. >> no one knows whether j. edgar hoover had sex with anyone. i doubt that he ever did. he loved his dogs. but he never had a human relationship with anybody but his mom. >> rose: in all the stories about j ed gar hoover and clyde were not true,. >> you no he where those stories began that he was gay, they began there 1937 the moment that hoover started persecuting gays in the government. and hunting them down and ruining their lives and kicking them out of the government. something he did assiduously for 45 years. >> rose: and what do you think about the present
director of the fbi. >> he's the first one who has ever got it right. >> rose: and what did he get right? ness with the balance between security and liberty. the balance between being safe and being free this say very delicate calculus. if they get it wrong, people are going to die. if they get it wrong, we lose our liberties. this guy is an amazing person. and his name is bob muller. >> rose: right. >> a lot of americans don't know his name. i think the essential quality here is that he confronted the president of the united states, george w. bush, eyeball to eyeball in ot val office with his resignation letter right here already written, said look, the electronic eavesdropping programs you are running against americans is in 2004, are illegal. and they're unconstitutional. and either you bring them back within the law or i quit. and so does the attorney general and so does the deputy attorney general. >> rose: who was the attorney general then. >> john ashcroft. >> rose: right, rights. >> and bush had visions of
the-- that was the beginning of the fall of the nixon administration. bush was running for re-election. what happens if the fbi director quits on a matter of principles? bush loses it was an amazing moment, and muller won. and at this point this tug-of-war between national security and civil liberties that we have been through in this country ever since the framers wrote the constitution, began to be even again. >> rose: is it even today. >> i think for the first time in 103 years, for the last three areas they're getting right. this is always going to be a struggle. are you not going to wake up every day and get it right. >> rose: did 9/11 change the balance? >> good lord, charlie, yes. the forces of national security pulled pretty hard. people were scared, remember? >> rose: they thought there was going to be another attack. the forces of national security pulled very hard and gained hand over fist against the forces of civil liberties. if was the director of the
fbi without pulled back. it was the fbi agent was went down to guantanamo and saw what the army and the ci was doing to prisoners who opened up a file called war crimes. we know what we know about the excesses of that period. because of the fbi. the fbi has done a lot to write that balance, even though we think of them as hoover's secret police. >> rose: what did hoover do with all the files he kept? >> i got some of them. >> rose: what was in them. >> hoover's fear that the united states would be attacked by came kazees from the soviet union, by nuclear terrorists, by teenage paratroopers carrying dirty bombs. his own struggles to expand power of the fbi to the very edge and limits of the law and constitution. his never ending terror that saboteurs and spies would bureau not united states at the highest levels, which they did.
>> rose: at the highest levels. >> what is the best example of that. >> they got not fbi. they got not pentagon through kim fillby, the british intelligence officer that worked for the soviet-- soviets, the national security agency at the very moment of its birth. they got into the army, navy. they stole our atomic secrets with. preben operate-- penetrated six days from sunday by the soviets it they had a 20 year start. >> rose: did they put moles in. >> they were moles, sure, inside the national security agency there was even a famous woman named judith copeland who was working with the justice department stealing the fbi files on soviet spies. >> rose: so what was the worse abuse of power by the fbi? was it civil rights? >> i would say it was the 15 year-long series of programs call cointelpro, where they went after everybody from the communist party which by
then was eight old guys playing bridge. to the southern christian leadership conference run by dr. martin luther king. dirty tricks, sabotage, poison pen letters, horrific stuff, political sabotage. now that's not intelligence. that's just political warfare. nd it's a disgrace on the honor of the fbi that that went on for 15 years. >> rose: is your next target the pentagon. >> i wouldn't say target. >> rose: what would you say, inquiry. >> i'm going to borough so deep into their archives that we will learn something new about the cost in blood and treasure that it has taken for to us be the world's greatest superpower for the last 65 years. >> rose: they know are you coming. >> they are very good at defence. >> rose: enemy, the history of the fbi. thank you. >> my pleasure. >> rose: thank you for joining us. see you next time.